Martial law in NCR will not stop spread of Covid-19 but will stoke unrest and resistance

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) condemns the continued militarized response of the Duterte regime to the spread of the Covid-19. The fascist approach to the public health crisis is subjecting the people to more oppression, while the virus continues to spread undetected and unchecked.

The Party condemns the imposition of martial law in the National Capital Region and other parts of the country. The Party calls on all democratic sectors to vigorously resist NCR militarization and push for steps to carry out mass screening and testing.

The fascist Duterte is obsessed with “imposing order,” and passing the blame on the people for the spread of the disease. Duterte is using his armed forces to instill fear and terror on the broad masses.

The country’s capital region is now infested with military brutes. More than 1,600 armed soldiers now roam its streets. It is now under martial law. This is clearly the solution by the military officials who were appointed by Duterte to lead the country’s Covid-19 response.

Some local government officials are being arm-twisted to accept Duterte’s martial law and have armed soldiers march through their streets and take over the lives of people in their cities, towns and barangays.

Duterte’s failed militarist measures has turned the public health crisis into a full-blown humanitarian crisis. People are going hungry and desperate because Duterte has failed to provide enough for the people to stay at home. The initial acquiescence to the lockdown as a measure to stop the spread of the Covid-19 has now given way to restiveness, especially with utter lack of government support. Widespread chaos is threatening to erupt as people seek ways to earn a living and feed their children.

Now, Duterte is using the military to compel the hungry population to “stay at home.” Thousands of families in the NCR who live in subhuman conditions are being forced to stay cramped in their hellholes, without the means to provide for their daily needs. State armed suppression, however, will only cause more restiveness, engender deeper indignation and stoke greater resistance.

People’s rights and livelihood are being trampled on with impunity with the military and police exercising martial law powers. In one month, more than 130,000 have been apprehended, many subjected to military and police abuses and made to undergo inhumane and outrageous punishment.

Putting the national capital and other places under military control is bound to result in widespread abuse of power and widespread violations of democratic rights. Placing the capital region under the military’s control is a prelude to all-out martial law rule. It must be opposed by all democratic forces.

Martial law in the National Capital Region will not stop the spread of the Covid-19. As experts have been insisting, and as the experience of other countries prove, what is required is a widespread campaign of mass testing on the population to detect, isolate and break the chain of transmission of the virus.

Without mass testing, the numbers being reported by the Department of Health are at best partial. There are also growing doubts over the DOH’s daily figures as the rapid rise in numbers in Cebu were not reflected in its recent reports.

Duterte and all his officials must be made accountable for their irresponsible militarist response to the Covid-19 crisis. The Filipino poeple demand a better response. Their clamor for Duterte’s resignation or ouster is growing intense every day.

Martial law in NCR will not stop spread of Covid-19 but will stoke unrest and resistance